Monday, April 18, 2011
Fruits Basket vol. 23 by Natsuki Takaya
THE FINAL VOLUME! Curses have been broken and the eternal banquet has finally come to a close. But there are still some loose ends to be wrapped up before the last page of Fruits Basket arrives! How will the members of the Zodiac deal with their newfound freedom? Can forgiveness come in the wake of Akito's past actions, and a new surprising revelation? (courtesy of Goodreads)
Here we are! The final volume. I wonder how many manga make it to 23 volumes. I'm assuming not that many have a story complex enough to last that long unless they're the functional equivalent of sitcoms, with each volume being a stand-alone story.
The curse is broken. Kyo and Tohru are officially together. Yuki and Machi are officially together.
All of the former Zodiac members gather for a banquet with Akito. There Akito reveals that she is in fact a woman! Shigure, Hatori, Ayame, Kureno, and Tohru were the only ones who knew this. Now that Akito is no longer god, she is going to begin living as a woman and try to create a life for herself.
But Akito won't be alone. She and Shigure are happily in love (although with Akito's temper, I bet it will still be rocky). Shigure is content to be with Akito and is no longer writing cheesy romance novels and making off-color jokes.
Yuki, Tohru, and Kyo are all graduating high school. Yuki will be going to college with Machi nearby. Tohru and Kyo will be leaving to live and work in a dojo far away. Kyo wants to live - to see things. He feels terrible for taking away Tohru from the Sohmas. We see just how much every member of the family loves Tohru and what a stalwart she is for all of them. More of a god-figure than Akito, in many ways. Tohru loves the Sohmas as well, but is happy to do whatever makes Kyo happy.
The volume ends with a cute little happily ever after scene.
A good end to a fabulous series. While the ending is a little too clean and happy to be believable, it's still sweet and a nice reward for people who've had such hard lives. I definitely understand why this is the most popular shojo manga.